Documentation:Peer Review of Teaching/Report of the Working Group on Peer Review of Teaching

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UBC Context for Peer Review of Teaching


Fuelled by global concerns about the quality of student learning experiences and the effectiveness of university teaching, there has been increasing attention to the evaluation of teaching in a broad array of institutional and disciplinary contexts in higher education [1]; [2]. Traditional approaches to the evaluation of university teaching have often resulted in the over-reliance on student evaluation of teaching data and/or ad-hoc peer-reviews of classroom teaching practices with numerous accounts of methodological shortcomings that tend to yield less useful (and less authentic) evaluations [3]. UBC has long recognized the importance of attending to the evaluation of teaching practices, however, the enactment of a campus-based approach and localized scholarship directed at these practices remains very much in its infancy. The UBC Peer Review of Teaching (PRT) Initiative places emphasis on scholarly approaches to formative and summative peer-review of teaching practices. A scholarly approach to peer-review of teaching is not only consistent with the ethos of a research-intensive university, it is also driven by institutional guidelines for the evaluation of teaching, the needs and circumstances of discipline-specific communities of practice, relevant literature and conceptual frameworks, systematic methodology for authentic assessment and evaluation, ethical considerations, and dissemination [4]; [5].


  1. Arreola, R. A. (2007). Developing a comprehensive faculty evaluation system: A guide to designing, building, and operating large-scale faculty evaluation systems (3rd ed.). Bolton, MA: Anker.
  2. Harris, K-L., Farrell, K., Bell, M., Devlin, M., & James, R. (2008). Peer review of teaching in Australian higher education: A handbook to support institutions in developing effective policies and practices. Australian Learning and Teaching Council Publication.
  3. Hammersley-Fletcher, L., & Orsmond, P. (2004). Evaluating our peers: is peer observation a meaningful process? Studies in Higher Education, 29(4), 489-503.
  4. Glassick, C. E., Huber, M. T., & Maeroff, G. I. (1997). Scholarship assessed: Evaluation of the professoriate. San Francisco, Ca: Jossey-Bass.
  5. Hubball, H.T., & Clarke, A. (2011). Scholarly approaches to peer-review of teaching: Emergent frameworks and outcomes in a research-intensive university. Transformative Dialogues Journal, 4(3), March.

Report of UBCV Working Group on Peer Review of Teaching

In 2008, a working group was tasked with developing principles and procedures for the formal summative evaluation of teaching, to inform decision making regarding re-appointment, promotion and tenure. Their report is available here:

Downloadable version of the Report of the UBCV Working Group on Peer Review of Teaching (in pdf format)